Monday, July 13, 2009

Environmentalists, Witches, Aliens, and Ballerinas

Court opened today with the Judge telling the jury and the assembled crowd that today was declared to be an “energy conservation day” and that the air conditioning would be disabled in the afternoon. Swell.
Not mentioned was the fact that the escalator would be turned off. OK. Makes sense… unless you block off the escalator too, (Because those non-moving steps are too confusing?) so that people are forced to use the elevator to go up and down one level. I’m no electrical appliance expert, but I’d guess that the elevators running in high use all day probably use more energy than a continuously running escalator, just because of the physics and equipment involved. I could be wrong. I bet an open but turned off escalator uses about as much energy as, well… stairs. In fact, if they did that every day, I’d bet they could leave the AC on for that one day per month, and still use less energy. (I charge $600 per hour for this advice, by the way…)
I’m only going to make a few observations for today.
Personally, I think the Prosecutor did a great job. I think she clarified a lot of detail for the jury, was personable and yet not condescending, clear and concise. I don’t think that it’s possible for the defense to take this clarity and sincerity away from the prosecutor, and Weinberg made no real progress toward that end today.
The judge stated that she has become aware that there is "some press" about this case, and asked the jury to confirm that they had not been reading stories in the newspapers, online, or otherwise. They all shook their heads that they have been behaving as originally instructed. That’s good, we want a clean conviction.
The judge instructed the jury in part, and will complete instruction after the prosecution finishes up tomorrow. Specifics about charges were discussed:

9 counts of CA Penal Code 288(a):
288. (a) Any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act, including any of the acts constituting other crimes provided for in Part 1, upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child who is under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.
1 count of CA Penal Code 288(c)(1): Which is the same as above, but age is 14 or 15, and the perpetrator is at least ten years older than the victim.
And “Special Allegations” for each of the counts, which has to do with “Substantial Sexual Conduct” (Relating to ayres’ masturbation of his victims.)
EDIT: Apparently during the second day of closing, it was clarified that there are only 9 counts, not ten total, but I did not catch the full explanation other than one of the victims changed their testimony from two events to one that they were absolutely sure of, somewhere along the way, and the charges were changed to reflect that.
The jury could also choose lesser charges of Simple Battery (“Rude or Angry Touching”) if they don’t find him guilty of the greater 288 charge.
The Prosecutor was organized with lots of flip charts and graphs to demonstrate the consistency of the witness testimony, and making following the complexity of the law pretty easy. Throughout the prosecutor’s closing statement, she was referring to statements made by the defense’s memory expert to bolster her own case (Weinberg counted 20 references. We thought ALL of them were pretty darned spot-on.) Later in the afternoon Weinberg tried to accomplish the same feat referring to Dr. Ponton’s testimony, but frankly he fell flat, only making it look like a weak (failed) attempt to one-up the prosecutor’s clever tactic.
Weinberg was doing the following during McKowan’s testimony:
Touching his face, twiddling his lips, sucking his fingertips, adjusting his glasses, plugging his nostrils with his knuckles, shaking his head, twirling his hair. Hope to gosh he washes his hands after doing a “pee demonstration” or “massaging his penis.”
Weinberg’s closing was interesting. I’m not going to say how, because he’s not done yet. After he was going for awhile, he mentioned the following reminders for the jury:
1) The infamous McMartin case.
2) Salem witch trials.
3) Some people think they were kidnapped by aliens.
4) 15-20% of the time, you can implant memories.
5) Psychotherapists believe that kids have sexual fantasies about their parents, and that the therapist’s job is to transfer those feelings onto themselves. (Weinberg didn't indicate whether or not Psychotherapists believe that this should result in a "penis massage" or not, as apparently is the case for Psychiatrists.)
6) False memories like “déjà vu”
7) Family Stories can make you remember something that didn’t happen that way.
8) Talked about something upsetting that happened to him in his ballet class. (He thought he had tripped on his tutu or something, but his brother later told him he was just being an insolent brat - something like that anyway...)

He didn’t mention whether having a perverted old beast claiming to be a "doctor" and shoving his ungloved finger up your ass to massage your prostate with his face inches from your penis, and telling you that you might ejaculate, and “That’s OK...” would fall into more of the vivid "core memory" category, or the "just kind of fun - like Déjà vu" category. But I certainly appreciate a man who can make light of the molestation of an 11 year old boy.


  1. Ayres is a pig, and Weinberg is a dolt.

    Weinberg also plays with his lips a lot. This odd habit of his was first noted by Sprocket during the Spector trial.

    Thanks for great reporting today Deep Sounding.

  2. That abuse sounds intolerable. I am sorry you had to go through it.

    I hope Ayres rots in hell.

  3. Ayres is so going to be convicted!

    I get so mad when I hear what he did. He should die in prison!

    I will make sure to watch for the moving van in front of Ayres condo when Solveig has to move!

    She will most surely have to sell some stuff, nobody is going to donate to the legal fund....

    Just hand it all over to Whiney, I guess we had it all wrong as to who was wearing a tutu, turns out it was Weinberg!

    False memory my a**....the jury will never buy that.

    Thanks for covering this, I know it must be difficult for all.

  4. I particularly like the implanted false memory tactic. I am sure all the jurors will now know for sure that they have just imagined some of the important things in their life, like: first date, first kiss, getting their driver's license, havng the measles, falling off their bike. Surely a minor thing like going to the doctor and having something done which is traumatic is definitely up there with alien abductions.

    Weinberg? After Phil Spector, that other trial and now this, I am sure he can take his suntan to Florida, maybe buy Madoff's house down there as he's surely taken large chunks of several fortunes.